Oyster Po Boy24Pacific oysters, shucked3eggs, lightly whisked85 gm (½ cup) fine yellow cornmeal85 gm (½ cup) coarse yellow cornmealFor deep frying:peanut oil4long bread rolls8leaves of butter lettuce2vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly slicedTo serve:lemon wedgesTartare sauce1egg yolk1 tbsp lemon juice250 ml (1 cup) sunflower oil2 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed5cornichons, finely chopped½red onion, finely chopped¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
For tartare sauce, whisk together egg yolk and lemon juice until frothy. Whisking continuously, add oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified, then season to taste with
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir through remaining ingredients and
refrigerate until required.
Remove oysters from shell and pat dry with absorbent paper. Season whisked eggs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine cornmeals on a plate and season to taste. Dip oysters in egg, then coat with cornmeal. Heat oil in a large deep saucepan or deep fryer to 180C. Fry oysters in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden, then drain on an absorbent paper-lined plate.
Halve bread rolls and spread with tartare sauce. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, fried oysters and enclose. Serve with lemon wedges.
While oysters, mussels and scallops receive their fair share
of attention, there's a bevy of other shellfish, too, such as
pippies, cockles and clams, which promise plenty of pleasure on the
plate. These daintier varieties, along with mussels, should be
purchased alive. You can check their condition by tapping any open
shells - they should close immediately. They're sometimes sold
sandless (that is, purged of sand), but if they're not, you'll need
to purge them. Do this by soaking in salted cold water for about an
hour. Discard any shells that don't open during cooking. While
fresh scallops are available to restaurants, they're harder for
home cooks to lay their hands on. Look for examples with plump
flesh and always buy them fresh rather than frozen. If you can't
find shellfish at your local market or fishmonger, give your local
Chinatown a go.